How can this be?

Date: Friday, December 7

Scripture: Luke 1:34-38

Verse: Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” -Luke 1:34

There’s this weird statement a dad blurts out in the Gospel of Mark. His son is overcome with an evil spirit and is being thrown around on the ground in a seizure-like episode. The father says to Jesus, “If you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus replies, “If you are able! – All things can be done for the one who believes.” To which this dad replies, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (see Mark 9:14-29). I can certainly relate to the cry of that dad. I too know my life as a mixture of faith and doubt. Certainly I believe, but there are still areas of my life where I struggle to believe with all of my heart. 

Mary believes, we hear that throughout this passage. But in her question, “How can this be…?” we hear her doubt. The angel’s words don’t make any earthly sense. This is not how things happen here on earth. So, how can this be?

We too have experienced doubt in the world around us, from great joy to great sorrow. How can it be that these two who were told they would never have a baby are now pregnant? How can it be that you got the job over all of the other applicants? How can it be that this one who has been divorced found a spouse who loves them just as they are? How can this be that a child would contract cancer? How can this be that so many would be hurt by a hurricane, fire, tornado, tsunami, hunger, etc.? How can this be that I would lose my job right before Christmas? How can this be? I believe; help my unbelief!

In the midst of her doubt, Mary follows God’s call on her life. May we do the same. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, do not allow my doubts and fears to derail my life of discipleship. Amen. 

Action: Watch this video that uses pictures from NASA to illustrate how our God is “Indescribable.” How can this be?


About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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